Tag Archives: knitting

Giveaway: Knitting Patterns from Andi Satterlund

13 Jan

I’ve got a really fun giveaway for y’all today! Assuming you like knitting… if not, what’s holding you back?? :)

As you all know probably know by now, Andi Satterlund of Untangling Knots is my not-even-trying-to-make-this-a-secret Knitting Girl Crush. I don’t want to call myself obsessive, per se, but every single one of her knittng patterns has a solid spot in my queue, and I’ve personally knit and finished (and worn!) half a dozen of her patterns for myself. I can’t help it – her designs are beautiful, flattering, fit my body shape exactly, and there is always some new construction trick to learn.

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Aiken Pullover

My very favorite part about Andi’s patterns is how they are constructed. Every knitter has his or her own personal preference for knitting – some like knitting each piece and seaming them together, some prefer to knit things entirely in the round with no seaming. I fall in the latter camp – it’s so fun to watch the shape emerge as you complete the pattern, plus, you can pull it on to tweak the fit as you knit. Not to mention once you’re done, you’re done! No seaming necessary :) All of Andi’s patterns are knit this way – one piece, in the round (top-down or bottom-up depending on the particular pattern in question). Sleeves are set in with short rows and button bands are picked up and knit directly along the edge. Like I said – NO SEAMING. Miracles all up in this bitch!

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Chuck cabled pullover

Another thing I really love about her patterns is the sizing. This is really a personal preference – my body just happens to fit exxxactly into that XS size. I love it! However, if you don’t have the same sort of hourglass figure that the patterns are written for (and there’s a full schematic on the back of each pattern with a zillion finished measurements, so as long as you gauge swatch matches up you can be pretty sure exactly what you’re in store for), they are pretty easy to tweak thanks to the in-the-round construction. Not to mention, the bust measurements range from 29″-50″+, so you’re much more likely to find a size that fits you :)

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Hetty Lace Cardigan

Not into knitting sweaters quite yet (well, what’s stopping you? ;))? Andi also has a nice selection of non-sweater knits – cowls, hats, and fingerless gloves. Most of the accessories patterns include some colorwork – such as the Stray beret in leopard print which I’m dying to knit, or the super fun Bernadine Cowl which has ball of yarn knitted into the design – but there are also even simpler accessories, such as Salt and Bea. Again – what’s stopping you from knitting a sweater, though? :)

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Geralindine Pullover and Ethel Beret

Feeling inspired yet? Look at all the makes I’ve whipped up using Andi’s patterns-
Agathamy mustard Agathaon Ravelry
Agatha(again!) – my Blagathaon Ravelry
Miettemy navy Mietteon Ravelry
Chuckmy red Chuckon Ravelry
Marionmy red Marionon Ravelry
From A to Zmy L is for Laurenon Ravelry

Yikes, that’s a lot of links! Hopefully that gets the creative juices flowing, though :)

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED


All right, here’s the fun part – Andi has generously offered to give away a small prize pack of 3 of her patterns, chosen by one lucky winner! Yay! To enter, all you need to do is check out her Ravelry store and tell me in the comments what 3 individual patterns you would choose if that winner is you (sorry, y’all, the Wrapped in Wool package is not included in this giveaway. But you could totally pick 3 of those individual patterns if that’s your jam ;)). That’s it! This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE and I will close the comments one week from today, January 20, 2014 at 8PM CST.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

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If you’ve yet to knit your first sweater and feel terrified at the prospect, perhaps I can tempt you with the gorgeous Agatha? It was my first sweater, too! ;)

Good luck!

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Completed: The Owls Sweater

2 Jan

Happy New Year, everyone!! Gah, I feel like I really dumped a load on y’all with my last post… sorry about that! I promise to keep things much more concise, at least with the current offerings :) And before we get too far into the new year, I do have one small confession – I actually finished this sweater at the very end of 2013! Whoops! So it’s not my first completed garment of 2014 (and it’s sweater #9 of 2013, wow!), but we’re going to count is as such since that’s when the pictures surfaced :)

Let me introduce you to: Owls!

Owls!

I’m sure a lot of you knitters already recognize this pattern, since it’s insanely popular on Ravelry. Truth, this was one of the sweaters that really made me want to improve my knitting skills enough to be able to have one of my own! This is the famous owls pattern by Kate Davies and there’s a good reason why it’s so overplayed (in the best way, I mean) – it’s a simple, quick knit and looks flattering on pretty much everyone who makes it up!

Owls!

Like I said, this has been in my queue for aaaages. So long! Part of what made me waffle on starting it up was finding a suitable bulky weight yarn that didn’t cost a fortune – some of the stuff I was looking was pretty pricey! Eep! I was actually gifted the pattern by Jo for my birthday last year (did you know you can gift patterns on Ravelry? So dangerous…), which really pushed me to try to find a good yarn.

Owls!

What ended up working for me was the Valley Yarns Northampton Bulky from good ol’ yarn.com. What I loved about this yarn was that it was cheap (I think I paid $3.99 a skein, but it’s normally $5.99!), 100% wool, and it came in colors that didn’t suck. I know a lot of people love that Cascade 128 that comes in a giant yardage, but I never cared for the colors offered and plus, with the amount I needed I would end up with a lot of unneeded yardage. So this worked out perfectly.

Owls!

Thanks to the bulky yarn, this pattern knit up SUPER fast – I finished it in a little over 3 weeks. That’s a record for me! Definitely needed after how long I toiled on my A to Z cardigan :) The construction for this was pretty interesting – it’s knit bottom-up to the armpits, then you knit each sleeve from the bottom up, then you connect everything and finish the owls and the neck binding. It gets a bit heavy at the end, but fortunately there’s not too long of that.

Owls!

I love how the owls wrap around the shoulders. So cute!

Owls!

I knit the pattern as-is, and there were a few things I didn’t care much for during the process. For one, the back decreases were kind of… weird? I think it also gives me a slightly poofy upper back, although it’s more noticeable in pictures. I would have changed to side decreases – it was even suggested to me by a few people – but the construction was so weird that I didn’t quite understand where the sides started, so I just followed the instructions blindly. Oh well! It doesn’t look bad, I just think the bad is a weird place to put decreases! Another thing I did not like was how the sleeves were attached, because you end up grafting stitching at the underarms. There are 4 stitches to graft, but my holes were WAY bigger than 4 stitches! It was like an armpit window or some shit! I managed to close it up and you can’t even tell, but man, that’s more sewing than I want to do on a knit. Sorry.

Owls!

One last beef, and you’ll probably notice this the second I point it out (if you didn’t notice already ;)) – I ran out of yarn at the very end! I bought the recommended yardage (oh ho ho, I actually bought a whopping 5 yards more than required, like, I’m such an adult), but I obviously goofed something because I ran out of skeins while finishing the owl cables. Shit! And since I ordered this online, I didn’t want to pay for shipping to ship one whole skein to me for like… 5 rows of knitting. I unraveled my two gauge swatches (bummer, because I was saving them to make a blanket o’ gauge swatches, like, someday haha) and still came up short. I hemmed and hawed for a few days, dug around my stash, lurked the yarn store by my house… and eventually realized that the black yarn I used to knit my Blagatha was an *almost* perfect match. Not quite, but close enough. Since the donor yarn is a lighter weight, I held it double and it worked out fine to finish the ribbing. It doesn’t quite match, but it blends into kind of an ombre effect. Fancy!

Owls!

The most agonizing part about the whole yarn ordeal was that once I blocked the sweater, I realized the sleeves were too long! DERP. So, yeah, I totally had enough yarn! Whatever, fuck that shit. They’ll just stay cuffed and maybe my arms will magically lengthen someday :B

Owls!

You probably also notice that I left off the eyes on all my owls. I started to sew on buttons, but decided I like them more subtle. So there!

Owls!

Owls!

This puppy is WARM! I’ll probably live in this for the remainder of winter. I love how it looks with this silk skirt (which, btw, is vintage, not me-made – but now I’m thinking, ooh, silk Zinnia??). Anyway, full Ravelry notes here!

Owls!

One last thing… we have a giveaway winner from last year! Ooh, so who’s the lucky recipient of the $25 credit at She’ll Make You Flip?

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Congratulations, SewMeow! Go check your inbox! :)

Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks to She’ll Make You Flip for offering such a lovely prize! Guys, if you’re still eyeballing a sweet vintage pattern, let’s up the ante a little! Use the code LLADYBIRDNY25 for 25% your total purchase through January 15, 2014! Yeah! Now don’t say I never did nothin’ for ya ;)

Completed: From A to Z Cardigan

2 Dec

I feel like the knitting of this cardigan took forever, but it was really only about 2.5 months. Crazy!

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This particular project is a little special to me because I started it right when I put in my final notice at my old job, then I got a huuuge chunk of it done while I was in Chicago, and now it’s been my saving sanity since.

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The main reason why I haven’t knitted it up as quickly as the others is just TIME. I never feel like I have enough anymore! I guess every adult feels that way, though, huh? :) Once I realized I was not getting back those 1 hour lunch breaks (and let’s be real – working from home means NO LUNCH BREAKS EVER, EAT WHILE YOU WORK !!!! haha), I just let myself manage what I could manage. Which usually meant a full 15 minutes of knitting, at the tail end of my lunch. This equates to about 10 sleeve rounds (oh, don’t look at me like that, there were 30-50 stitches per round. very small!).

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Once I hit that, I finished fairly quickly! Yay for me taking my own advice :)

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Anyway, pattern talk time! This is From A to Z by Andi Satterlund. A little different from what I usually knit – the construction is bottom up, with knitted-in pockets and a few bits of intarsia for contrast, plus that monogram at the front (it’s duplicate stitch, not intarsia. FYI!). I used Valley Yarns Northamton worsted weight yarn for the main color, and the contrast is leftover bits from my Central Park Hoodie.

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The pockets on this cardigan are SO COOL. They are knit with the body – meaning they aren’t seamed on separately. It was hard for me to wrap my head around first (honestly, I had to email Andi and ask her for help, and she was very prompt in her response!), but once I got going it was pretty easy. The top stripes are intarsia – my first intarsia, ever, and while it’s not terrible, it could use some improvement. I still have problems with holes where the colors join (which you can’t see because, duh, I sewed those shits right up), but it’s a start!

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Part of the reason why this took so long was because it was sooooo repetitive. Stockinette can really take forever, especially at the bottom where it’s the widest! Once I got to separating the tops and then adding the sleeves, I finished this up fairly quickly. In comparison, anyway.

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(I was really horrified when I saw this pantyline picture, until I later realized that those lines are caused by the ruffles in my undies. JUST SO WE ARE ALL CLEAR)

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I plan to wear it closed, but it looks good open, too!

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I made the XS and had no pattern alterations. This is what I love about Andi’s patterns – they fit me perfectly as-written! Can’t argue with that :D

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I LOVE the monogram. As with my intarsia, my duplicate stitch could reeeeally use some work as it’s definitely a Monet. It doesn’t look so great up close! But from far away it’s not so bad.

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Ugh, sorry for all the pictures. I’m just really proud of how this cardigan turned out!

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Like the varsity sweater of my ~dreamz

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Told ya that dupe stitch was lacking. OOPS haha!

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Here’s the back of the pocket, in case you were curious about the construction. I created the pocket by making kfbl stitches and pulling the new stitches to a holder, then knitting the pocket lining separately, then picking up each stitch along the side as I knit the bottom of the cardigan. I hope that makes sense! It’s pretty genius, in my opinion, glad I had a chance to try it out!

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I’ve plumb run out of things to say, so I reckon that’s it! Ravelry notes are here. Next knit project – Owls! I have some lovely grey yarn for that and I’ve already started swatching :)

Oh, and just in case you were curious – my shirt says “I Listen To Bands That Don’t Even Exist Yet” (because it’s hilarious, that’s why) and I made my hairbows myself:)

One last thing – the giveaway winner! Let’s see who the random number generator picked today….

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Congratulations PoldaPop! Keep an eye on your mail, you’ve got a Sugar Plum headed your way!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Completed: The Peacock Eyes Cardigan

23 Sep

Who else out there has a sewing or knitting kindred spirit? You know, someone who is pretty much always on the same wavelength as you when it comes to projects, whose blog or Ravelry queue is prime for lurkin’ because it means you’re totally about to find your new favorite pattern without actually discovering it yourself? For me, that’s Jo. Seriously, her Ravelry favorites are one of my favorite things to look at on the internet because I love basically everything that she loves (also, when I opened that link to embed it in this post, I discovered ANOTHER cardigan pattern that I need. Dammit, Jo!). It seems like every time we chat about what we’re working on, it’s something creepy similar. I love having a knitting twin!!

Jo's Francis sweater
Red Cashmerino Cowl

See? I spied her Francis, Revisited sweater and SHAMELESSLY ripped it off as soon as I got my hands on the yarn. No hate.
Wish I could have ripped off her amazing hair, too, but I guess life doesn’t work that way :P

So we decided for our next projects, we’d embrace that twinsy-ness and try to channel each other’s wavelength… the wavelength being bright green, obviously, since we had both been independently thinking about buying yarn in this color. We weren’t planning on finishing at the same time (one thing I’ve learned is that you can’t really rush knitting!), but somehow it worked itself out anyway. So here’s mine – in brilliant kelly green, my new favorite color of right this second.

Peack Eyes Cardigan

This is the Peacock Eyes pattern. Lots of my favorites rolled up in this one – top-down, once piece, fingering weight, pretty lacework. Hell yeah!

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I bought the yarn for this sweater back in August, when I knew I would be having surgery and lots of couch-time as a result. I decided to treat myself to something special, and, whooo boy, this stuff is special all right. The brand is Vice and it’s a blend of merino, silk, and cashmere. It feels just as amazing as is sounds, and the color is incredible (don’t let my shitty pictures fool you – it’s bright Kelly green, y’all).

Peack Eyes Cardigan

It was also really really expensive – like $70 for 2 skeins. Ok, I guess that’s not *that* expensive, but it’s the most I’ve paid for sweater yarn to date! Totally worth it, though. I enjoyed knitting every single stitch of this cardigan. It was like angels on my fingertips or some shit.

Peack Eyes Cardigan

If you clicked over to the pattern link, you’ll see that my cardigan is much more cropped than the original pattern, as well as having shorter sleeves. I had to change a couple things up to get my yarn to work with the pattern as I didn’t buy enough – two skeins meant I was about 100-150 yards short of the suggested amount, and I didn’t want to buy a third skein soooo I improvised! I’m not a huge fan of long cardigans, anyway, so this worked out – although in retrospect, I may have cropped it too much. Oops. I’ll still wear it, though :)

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I really love this style of cardigan. I think the lace peacock eyes are so pretty!

Peack Eyes Cardigan

It looks good unbuttoned, too – which I’ve already tested this theory, wearing it last week before I sewed the buttons on. Ha! It just looked toooo good with my outfit, is the thing.

Peack Eyes Cardigan

Since the cardi is pretty shrunken with a good amount of negative ease, the button bands really don’t like laying completely flat – see in the picture? I hand sewed seam binding to the undersides so at least the actual button holes aren’t trying to pull open (ugh, I just hate the way that looks, sorry), but there is still a little bit of pulling. I am happy with the way it fits, though.

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I feel like I should point out the new piece of jewelry in my septum – well, I guess it’s not really new, it’s been there for over a month. It’s just a retainer; I got it so it could be removed during surgery, but I kind of like it so I haven’t changed back to the silver horseshoe. My mom hates it. She says it looks like I have a staple in my nose, haha. What do you think?

Peack Eyes Cardigan

One other thing, I wore this dress because 1. It looks awesome with the green; and 2. I wanted to show y’all that I did fit my puckery bust darts. Of course, you can’t see them at all so obviously this is a moot point, but, you know. Just so you know.

Peack Eyes Cardigan

One more back shot, because I can!

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I do have one question for the knitter pros – see how my button band does not align with my bottom ribbing? No matter what I do (and I’m extra careful to pick up the stitch at the VERY edge of the ribbing when I start the band), I can’t get it to make a straight line. Any tips on how to fix that?

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I didn’t have any green petersham ribbon to sew to the button band like I normally do, so I used rayon seam binding. It does not exactly match – it’s teal, the sweater is green – but it complements. I sewed my button holes on as usual (and stuck a piece of silk organza underneath because my machine wanted to eat that rayon) and then stitched it on the sweater by hand. It’s not as solid or pretty as the petersham would be, but it works!

Peack Eyes Cardigan

Peack Eyes Cardigan

The buttons are vintage, a gift from my sister-in-law. They are a perfect match for the yarn color!

Peack Eyes Cardigan

This is a shitty picture, but it shows the true yarn color. Told ya – kelly green ;)

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I guess that’s it! Full Ravelry notes are here. Now hop over to Jo’s blog and check out her green goddness… she went with the same brilliant green, but with different pattern (omg amazing)(yes it’s already in my queue).

Who’s your crafty Kindred Spirit?

EDIT Almost forgot to mention this! I’m taking a quick, last-minute trip to Chicago this weekend and would love to meet up with some sewing friends for fabric shopping and eats! I sent out an inquiry on Twitter and we’re cooking up some plans right now, but if you did not see the tweet and would like to join – just send me an email! We are looking at either Saturday or Sunday (the 28th & 29th).

Completed: Audrey in Unst

26 Aug

My knitting has been OFF THE CHAIN lately with regards to how productive I am. I don’t feel like I’m knitting any faster or even more frequently than usual, but I’m averaging a finished piece every month and a half or so. My ultimate goal is to replace all my cheap/pilled acrylic RTW sweaters with beautiful wool handknits, so I like to think I’m making good progress here :)

Audrey in Unst

And here’s my newest one! Isn’t it pretty?
(I know these pictures are awful and washed out; I tried using my camera on “auto” for this photo set. Um. NEVER AGAIN, holy shit).

Audrey in Unst

This pattern is Audrey in Unst. It’s been in my queue forever – I actually started swatching it with the purple yarn that eventually became Peggy Sue. The pattern calls for DK weight yarn, but I could NOT get gauge with such a heavy yarn (I’m a loose knitter), so I set the pattern aside and made, well, Peggy Sue.

Audrey in Unst

Two sweaters later, I was ready to try again. I’ve been very good about stash-busting for the last few projects, so I treated myself to a new fancy yarn from my local yarn store. This is Malabrigo sock yarn – a merino wool in a light fingering weight. Again, I know the pattern calls for DK weight but since my gauge was all crazy (and when I did get the stitches small enough, they were so tight that the fabric felt stiff), I took a leap of faith and sized down in both yarn and needles.

Audrey in Unst

Spoiler alert: it worked!

Audrey in Unst

I still consider myself a relatively new-ish knitter, so please don’t take my word for gospel, but I assume you can go up or down a yarn weight as long as your gauge swatch matches that in the pattern. I had the same number of stitches per inch, even though my yarn was lighter and I was using size 2 needles, and my cardigan fits perfectly. Which is even more impressive to me, since this sucker is knit bottom-up – which means I couldn’t try it on as I went. I’m so daring, y’all.

Audrey in Unst

This pattern was very straightforward and easy to follow, although I gotta say – I don’t like how she wrote some parts of it. When doing repeat rows, she doesn’t give you an exact number of rows to do, or a finished measurement, so at first I was kind of guessing and hoping I was following along correctly. Think like: “repeat decrease row every 4th row one time, then every 7th row five times.” Usually a pattern will follow up with: “… for a total of 39 rows.” I like to follow patterns that hold my hand through the process, so I didn’t like that. But, you know, minor complaint.

Audrey in Unst

I knit the size 32.5 for everything except the waist and the sleeves, which I did in the size 30.5. This was pretty easy – the pattern gives you stitch counts, so once I got to the waist shaping, I just continued decreasing until I got to the stitch count for 30.5. When it came time to increase, again, I followed the stitch count until I had the same stitches for the 32.5. I wanted my sweater to be very fitted and it is exactly that!

Audrey in Unst

I love how it looks open.

Audrey in Unst

Fingering weight might be my new favorite yarn weight. It feels so dainty to knit up on tiny needles, and it feels SO NICE to wear in this heat! Not bulky or hot at all! Well, ask me again come winter, but for now – fingering weight FTW!

Audrey in Unst
Audrey in Unst

It does feel drapey and stretchy, which makes me slightly anxious and gives me flashbacks of cotton yarn stretching out, but I took these pictures after wearing the sweater for an entire day and the shape is still nice. That’s wool yarn for ya!

Audrey in Unst

Isn’t the yarn such a pretty color? It’s slightly variegated – enough for visual interest, but not so much to take away from the design of the sweater.

Audrey in Unst

Audrey in Unst

Audrey in Unst

I love the lacework at the yoke! So much fun to knit!

Audrey in Unst

Audrey in Unst

The twisted rib too foreeeever, but it does look nice.

Audrey in Unst

I tried to get a good picture of the buttons, but it was difficult. They have an argyle design etched into them. I bought these specifically for the sweater at last month’s flea market – they were kind of expensive (they’re from the 20s-30s and the guy tells me they are vegetable protein), but they are perfect so I had to.

Audrey in Unst

I guess that it’s! Full Ravelry notes are here!

Completed: The Marion Cardigan

5 Aug

I should probably first confess that this cardigan has been a finished object for over a month now. Oops! In fact, I’m nearly done with my next knitted project. It’s just hard to bring myself to take photos of a wool, worsted weight cardigan when it’s 95* outside, ya know?

Marion Cardigan

But anyway, here she is – my newest cardi and and Andi Satterlund‘s newest pattern offering, the Marion!

Marion Cardigan

This was SO MUCH FUN to knit, guys!

Marion Cardigan

Marion is a lovely little cropped, 3/4 sleeve cardigan, knitted seamlessly from the top-down in almost entirely stockinette. There is some fun cabling around the v neck to add a bit of interest (both in looks and during the actual knitting, ha!), but it is an easy, fast knit. Well, for me, anyway. I finished it in just under a month!

Marion Cardigan

I think everyone knows about my love affair for Andi’s patterns, but let me just repeat – I LOVE her patterns! I love the construction, I love the fit, and I love the finished pieces! Every time she releases a new pattern, it immediately goes into my queue.

Marion Cardigan

Marion Cardigan

This is a straight size small, with no alterations. I did size down my needle to a 6 (I find that I knit pretty loosely!), but everything else in the pattern was knitted as written. Going forward, though (because I WILL knit this again… maybe in a lovely grey alpaca? Ooh!), I will probably adjust the length of the sleeves. They hit me in a weird spot when they’re not scrunched, I guess I have short arms? Whatever, not a big deal.

Marion Cardigan

The yarn is from Sonja, a little destashing prezzie she gave me while I was in NY. I actually have a LOT of this stuff left over… I think the sweater took maybe 6 skeins, and she gave me 10. I may have to dream up a matching hat and scarf, yeah?

Marion Cardigan

The yarn is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. I found it very similar to my beloved Cascade 220, but with a little less pilling. I just love this color – it’s the perfect not-quite-cranberry-not-quite-harlot red. It’s also VERY warm. This will be nice in the winter, I guess!

Marion Cardigan

Oh, who am I kidding – it’s fucking freezing in my office these days. I’ve been wearing this a LOT!

Marion Cardigan

The only thing that was a bummer about this pattern is that the cabling looks really weird until it’s actually blocked. That’s why I didn’t show any progress shots – the cables were all lumpy and weird and it just wasn’t pretty enough to photograph! I did give this a proper block – soaking and all – and the cables bloomed out and now it’s basically perfect.

Marion Cardigan

I’m so happy with how they turned out :)

Marion Cardigan

There are teeny cables on the sleeve ribbing, too!

Marion Cardigan

Here is how it looks unbuttoned. I don’t think I’ll ever wear it like this – I like to keep my stuff closed – but I thought I’d show y’all anyway. You probably noticed that I didn’t stabilize my button bands with petersham this time. I was planning on it – I even bought some cranberry red petersham ribbon – but the way the buttonband is constructed was going to look really weird with ribbon sewn on half of it. Anyway, I tried the sweater on and the button holes don’t gape at all, so I just sewed my buttons directly on there and called it a day.

Marion Cardigan

Also, here is a picture of Amelia judging me.

Marion Cardigan

And that makes 10 sweaters for me! Fuck yeah, I love knitting :)

Completed: the Peggy Sue Sweater

1 Jul

I knitted another sweater!!! Ok ok… I actually finished this over a month ago, and since then I’ve knit a whole ‘nother sweater. But let’s take this one day sweater at a time, shall we? :)

Peggy Sue Sweater

This is the Peggy Sue (oh yah, I’m so creative with my project names, ha!). You probably notice that it does differ slightly from the pattern picture – I made a couple changes (some intentional, some “oh well I done fucked that one up”).

Peggy Sue Sweater

For starts, I knit this in a smaller size than what I should be wearing – the XS, which is for a bust 30. I decided to do this after measuring a similar cropped sweater with a fit that I liked. Since the pattern calls for no waist shaping – it just goes straight down in a tube – I also added a few decreases to pull the body in to 24″ at the waist (again, my waist is not 24″ – but the copied-sweater has those measurements!). These are the changes I made intentionally.

Peggy Sue Sweater

Unintentional changes: Well, for one, the ribbing. It doesn’t come up nearly as high as the pattern is written! That was actually an accident – the pattern has you knit in straight stitch until 8.3cm or 3.5in. Being an American, I saw the 8.3 and assumed it was inches, so I merrily knitted myself 8″ of fucking stockinette. Double-checked the pattern as I was coming to the end, and realized they mean centimeters. WAH. Rather than rip all that shit out, I just drastically shortened the height of the ribbing and called it a day. I kind of like it better this way, I think it’s more flattering!

Peggy Sue Sweater

My other unintentional change was swapping out the buttons for snaps. I planned on sewing buttons – I even put in button holes on the button band (which you can baaarely see), but I managed to skip one, somehow. How? Lord knows. Anyway, my chosen buttons didn’t fit in the holes and since there was one missing (right between the bottom button and the third from the bottom – again, HOW DID I MISS THAT??), I just opted for snaps. It’s fine.

Peggy Sue Sweater

Anyway, I am pleased wit the fit! It’s nice and shrunken, and looks good whether the snaps are fully closed, partially open, or totally open…

Peggy Sue Sweater

Peggy Sue Sweater

See? :)

Peggy Sue Sweater

Anyway, this was as fun pattern to knit! The body is stockinette, with raglan sleeves (which means no wrapping for the sleeve caps, fuck yeah). The button band is moss stitch, and the ribbing involves some funky cabling. I likey!

Peggy Sue Sweater

I’m a big fan of this yarn, which was a gift from reader Holly, who offered it after I posted up my big knitting fail. She actually sent me a bunch of really sweet emails filled with great knitting advice, and the package she sent me was full of amazing – in addition to the yarn, there was fancy chocolate. Actually, those chocolates are the sole reason why I even eat chocolate now. I’ve always thought it was hilariously underwhelming (give me a good vanilla-flavored anything, any day of the week), but now I realize it’s because I was just eating shitty chocolate. Imagine that! This led me to try Nashville’s own local chocolatier, Olive and Sinclair, and a longtime romance has begun.

Peggy Sue Sweater

Oh, right, I’m supposed to be talking about this yarn! I don’t actually know what the yarn is specifically, brand-wise, but it’s a gorgeously soft merino and bamboo superwash. It’s somewhere in the DK-weight realm (although I compared it to some of my sport weight and I think it might be closer to that?). One thing that I didn’t notice on the skeins, but is apparent in the sweater is that there are some subtle color gradients going on. I LOVE THAT! I don’t care much for heavily variegated yarn – it’s just not my jam, sorry! – but the subtleness of this is just gorgeous and gives the sweater so much dimension. Love love loveee.

Peggy Sue Sweater

You can really see it here! Ahh, so pretty!

Peggy Sue Sweater

Peggy Sue Sweater

Per usual, I finished the button bands with petersham ribbon to keep them from stretching all crazy. I actually started to make a tutorial on how to do this, but I found it difficult to get a good picture and anyway, it’s literally just hand-sewing petersham ribbon to the back of the knitted band. So.. there’s your tutorial, I guess HAHA.

Peggy Sue Sweater

To block this, I just laid it on a towel and saturated it real good using a spray bottle. After my last fiasco with superwash, I didn’t want to risk it growing all weird!

I don’t know how much I can really call a sweater “summer appropriate” when I live in a climate that has regular 100*+ days, but this is probably the closest I’ll get. The fibers and light yarn weight are much cooler than my usual wool worsted weight sweaters.

Oh, and since a couple people asked – here are some pictures of the dress I’m wearing!

Peggy Sue Sweater

Peggy Sue Sweater

Peggy Sue Sweater

It’s vintage, probably from the late 50s/early 60s, based on the construction and style. I picked it up from the flea market last weekend for a sweet $30. It just *barely* fits me – like, I cannot gain any weight at ALL hahaha. It’s also pretty see-through, but I wear a slip under it and that works! Actually, this is the first time I’ve worn a slip under my clothes, I think. Lord, the majority of y’all must be rolling your eyes so hard at me right now haha.

Anyway, I guess that’s it! Full Ravelry notes (spoiler: there ain’t a lot) here. Thank you again for the yarn, Holly!!

Now to muster up the strength to pull on my second sweater and take pictures for that. It’s one of them worsted-weight wool ones, ugh ;)

OH, I almost forgot – I owe y’all a giveaway winner. Random Number Generator saysssss (dum dum dummm)….

A-Z Winner

A-Z Winner1

Taryn is our winner! Yay, congratulations, Taryn!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Completed: Peacock Pullover

26 Apr

Hey look, I finished another sweater! What does this make, 8? Give me another year and I’ll have all those nasty arcylics in my closet replaced with glorious handknit wools, woohoo.

Peacock Pullover

As boring as this name is (“Peacock Pullover”? Really? Whatever, you should know by now that I’m not imaginative with my garment names), calling something a pullover will always make me think of this:

pullover-dumb-and-dumber

Which is pretty much one of the best things (from one of the best movies) ever, amirite? Unfortunately, this sweater isn’t very exciting. You could stop reading this post right now and still get the general gist of it. It’s a basic raglan pullover with a crew neck. Snore.

Peacock Pullover

But y’all know I’m a big proponent of making ~basics~. And this is totally a basic sweater, but hey – the color is fun, yeah?

Peacock Pullover

This pattern is the Ladies Classic Raglan Pullover. Obviously, mine looks a bit different than the pictures on the project page, and I’m not just referring to the color. Mine is much more fitted as I prefer to have a bit of waist definition with my sweaters. It wasn’t too hard to get the fit adjusted, although in my first go, I didn’t try the sweater on enough and after finishing the waist I realized that it was WAY too big. Ugh! I spent an entire week ripping out about 30+ rounds of stockinette. It’s still a little big – there’s some weird bagging on the sides of the chest where the ease suddenly becomes positive instead of negative – but it fits pretty well for the most part.

Peacock Pullover

If this is starting to look like deja-vu, that’s because Tasia recently(ish) knit this pattern in brown. I swear, I had it in my queue long before I saw her finished project, buuuuut I fully admit that her pictures were what moved the pattern to the top of the queue. God, she always knits the best stuff. I gotta stay out of her Ravelry or else I’m going to start looking like a total creeper, ha.

Peacock Pullover

Anyway, I’m just going to glean over the basics here (if you want the full deets, check out my Ravelry notes). This is a size 33, with modifications to the waist and arm width. I used Plymouth Galway in a lovely peacock blue; it’s similar to my beloved Cascade 220 except a bit cheaper (and this was REALLY cheap, as I picked it up during the after-Christmas sale at Haus of Yarn). I started it during my flight to NYC, and finished earlier this week. It would have knitted up much faster had I not spent a week unknitting my boo-boo, but oh well :)

Peacock Pullover

Next time I make this, I will probably go down another size, as well as make more decreases. It’s still a little too baggy for my liking.

Peacock Pullover

At any rate, this is a great pattern – quick to knit, easy to customize (look at the other Raveler’s projects; some people have made their with STRIPES. Ooh!), and fairly mindless stockinette. I think this would make a great first-sweater pattern. Bonus – it doesn’t use a whole lot of yarn! Which means I still have like 3 skeins of that peacock blue laying in my yarn stash. Uh.

Peacock Pullover

Sorry these pictures are bad, by the way! I took these yesterday as soon as I got home from work. Lesson learned – wait until the brightness of the sun goes down JUST A BIT. And yes, I am totally wearing shorts with my wool sweater. Whatever, it was like 80* outside and this is my blog and you can deal with it :B

Peacock Pullover

But hey, spring is totally in the air. Here I am looking at the birds fussing at each other in the tree above me.

Peacock Pullover

And lest you think I live in a mud pit (naw girl, that’s just the one part in front of my nasty-ass shed, ha), here is proof that the rest of the yard has exploded in green. I just realized that bush behind me is honeysuckle, and you have no idea how happy that makes me.

Completed: Red Cashmerino Cowl, mmm

27 Feb

It’s been a couple weeks since my big knitting fail (which wasn’t a huge fail after all, since I got loads of great advice for future knits, not to mention ~*someone has a new sweater to love forever :) I LOVE WHEN THESE THINGS WORK OUT), and what have I done since then??

Red Cashmerino Cowl
DUH, I KNIT ANOTHER SWEATER.

Red Cashmerino Cowl
Ok ok, confession – I wasn’t expecting this to knit up quite so fast. I mean, holy shit – 2 weeks. That’s all it took. And you can disagree with me all you want, but I am not a super fast knitter, nor do I knit for super long periods of time every day – a little under an hour on my lunch break, and an extra hour on Mondays and occasionally Thursdays when I meet up with other knitters. I don’t knit on weekends, and I rarely knit when I’m lounging on the couch (Landon has this weird hang-up about me knitting while we watch TV – he thinks it means I’m not paying attention. FREAK, you know I still have ears and can listen!!). This was just a really really quick knit. I love it!

Red Cashmerino Cowl
The pattern I used is Francis, Revisited, which is a freebie on Ravelry (yay!). You’ll notice that the original pattern is actually pretty shapeless and loose-fitting – which looks pretty on the model, but I’ve learned that it is not a flattering style on me. I need waist-shaping!
Also, I just realized that my skirt basically blends into the background here, rendering me a strange floating legless lady. Sorry about that.

Red Cashmerino Cowl
Jo has a lovely fitted version of this sweater, which I was DYING over (and, truth, she’s how I discovered the pattern in the first place), so I consulted her on decreasing deets and she was very very encouraging and helpful. I did some maths, cast on for a 33″ bust, and started knitting. Since the sweater is knit in one piece, top-down (my favorite!), it was easy to check the fit by threading a length of yarn through the live stitches and pulling it on. This can definitely get to be a pain in the ass, but I think the end effect is worth it.

Red Cashmerino Cowl
I mean, check out that shaping! Yeah!

Red Cashmerino Cowl
In addition to the waist shaping, I also lengthened the sleeves to full-length – I guess I just don’t see the point in short sleeves on a cashmere sweater (with a cowl neck, no less). That being said, I have a tendency to roll the sleeves up, like, always, so maybe it was a moot point. Also, I wish I had added like two more rows of knitting, because they’re the tiiiiinest bit short. Maybe I can pull that out with another block, idk.

Red Cashmerino Cowl
The yarn I used for this was Debbie Bliss Cashmerino – merino and cashmere, and SO FREAKING SOFT. I picked it up at Haus of Yarn‘s after-Christmas sale (which, sidenote, this yarn store is like 2 miles from my house YES MA’AM INDEED). Actually, another lady grabbed it first and I followed her around, sulking, for about 2 minutes, then she put it back in the bin and I pounced on that shit like a cat on a can of tuna fish. VICTORY. It was half off, too – meaning this sweater cost me about $35 to knit. Yep. Even with cashmere blend yarn.

Red Cashmerino Cowl
Cashmere is such a dreamy way to make yourself feel better after a knitting fail, fyi.

Red Cashmerino Cowl
Crummy color shot, but here you can see the seed stitching at the sleeves and hem. I like this has a nice alternative to ribbing, and it’s very easy to do – just knit 1, purl 1, and stagger each row.

Red Cashmerino Cowl
More specific notes about my adjustments can be found on my Ravelry page (as not to bore the non-knitters here).

I love my finished sweater! It’s so cozy and warm and soft – and RED. Yeah!!

Knitting Fail: The Lauriel Cardigan

5 Feb

It was only a matter of time before I knitted something that was completely unwearable. And here it is. Woof. I’m actually surprised it took me this long to get to that point – this is my sixth sweater, ffs!

Lauriel fail
This is the Lauriel pattern by Ysolda Teague. I fell in love with the pattern after lurking Tasia’s golden version. I used Cascade 220 sport (the color in these photos is definitely off; the swatch picture on my Ravelry page is much closer to the true color) and even bought me some of them fancy flexi-cable bamboo needles. I learned two new techniques for this sweater – a super stretchy bind off (my bind offs are always soo tight, no matter how much I go up in needle size. This method is awesome!) and Magic Loop for knitting the sleeves. I actually really enjoyed knitting it, although knitting the button bands almost broke my brain. I have no idea why the instructions were so bad for that part, but they were TERRIBLE. I spent about 3 hours on just one of the bands – I know this because I watched 4 episodes of Breaking Bad during the harrowing process.

Lauriel fail
So what’s the problem? Well, it’s too fucking big! I mean – holy shit, look at that sleeve length! I can’t cuff the sleeves back. I mean, I could, but there is a lace detail right above the cuffs and it would suck to cover that. Actually, the sleeves are the least of my problem. The entire thing is just huge huge huge. It swallows me, I look like a kid playing dress-up in her mom’s clothes. I know it looks semi-ok in these pictures, but trust me on this. This sweater is way too big, and I can’t wear it.

Lauriel fail
So where did I go wrong? I knit it correctly as indicated by the pattern – knitted my little gauge swatch (actually, I knit 3, just so we’re clear here), properly blocked it, checked my gauge frequently as I knit. So my knitting itself isn’t the error.

First of all, I admit that I knit the wrong size. The pattern has you knit by your underbust measurement, so I went with the 30″ since that’s what I measured at. Unfortunately, I must have measured wrong because I was checking that shit the other day and my underbust is actually closer to 28″. FACK. Even then, this thing is too huge.

I also suspect that this pattern simply runs big. Go look at Tasia’s sweater and notice that she said the sweater ended up very loose? Uh huh. Shoulda heeded her advice right there. I’ve actually now discovered, upon actually researching, that a lot of people have reported the thing problem – specifically in the bust/shoulders area. Which, yeah, that’s exactly the issue with mine. The shoulders droop down past my shoulders, the underarms are at least a couple of inches below mine, and the bust just swallows me.

Lauriel fail
Here I am pointing my finger at where my actual underarm is. Look at how low the sweater goes! The arms are huuuge on me – and I don’t have pencil thin arms, y’all!

Lauriel fail
The back is really a shining example of this sweater being too big.

Lauriel fail

Lauriel fail
Yep.

Lauriel fail
Just for the record, this is how it is *supposed* to fit. I originally thought I might be able to just whip up the side seams with a backstitch, but the underarms are so low that I can’t do that. Wah.

Anyway, the knitting itself is really pretty:
Lauriel fail

Lauriel fail
(fuck that button band, forreal tho)

Lauriel fail

So yeah. I’m pretty bummed – I spent a little over 2 months knitting this (not to mention the money I spent on the yarn, pattern, and new needles) and I just can’t wear it. That’s the sucky part about knitting – you never really know the full extent to the fit until it’s finished and blocked. I’m afraid I can’t salvage this one.

That being said, I don’t regret knitting it. It was a fun pattern to work with, and I learned some fun new techniques. I am considering selling it for , I dunno like $50, just to recoup my costs. Anyone interested? The bust is 35″, waist is 31″ (with lots of stretch) and the length from shoulder to hem is 20″. The sleeves are also 20″ (underarm to end of cuff). I didn’t bother to sew the buttons or snaps on as I’m kind of over this sweater; I’m sure y’all understand. It has been finished and blocked, though. The sweater has found a new home! Thank you everyone for your interest :)

Lauriel fail
Sooo… what have you failed at lately? Let’s commiserate!

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